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Radner, Karen (1. May 2019): Last Emperor or Crown Prince Forever? Aššur-uballiṭ II of Assyria according to Archival Sources. In: Yamada, Shigeo (ed.) : Neo-Assyrian Sources in Context: Thematic Studies of Texts, History and Culture. State Archives of Assyria Studies, Vol. 28. Winona: Eisenbrauns. pp. 135-142 [PDF, 915kB]


The year 614 BC saw the capture of the city of Aššur, the religious and ideological nucleus of the Assyrian Empire, and the destruction and looting of the temple of its eponymous god. The year 612 BC witnessed the loss of the city of Nineveh, the political capital of the Empire, and the life of the last rightfully appointed king Sin-šarru-iškun who died defending his city and the Empire. With the Aššur temple lost, the ancient coronation ceremony that confirmed the king as the deity’s representative on earth was impossible. The sacred bond between the god and his king that had served as the ideological backbone of the imperial claim to power was painfully disrupted as Sin-šarru-iškun’s successor could not be crowned in the sanctuary of Aššur. But while the coronation in Ḫarran was enough for Babylonian commentators who considered Aššur-uballiṭ the king of Assyria, contemporary Assyrian sources suggest that to his Assyrian subjects, he remained the crown prince, leaving the struggling realm without a true king.

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